Wheel Bearings... Getting Screwed Again

Discussion in 'Boats, Motors, Trailers and Towing Rigs Forum' started by Fish Assassin, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. Fish Assassin

    Fish Assassin Crew Member

    Well last year some of you may recall I replaced my axel for the second time in two years. Took it to a certain shop paid over $500 to have new axel, bearings, speedy sleeves etc. all replaced. Told them no cheap Chinese garbage put the good stuff on. Got told not problem SKF it is then. Today I go to have my bearing serviced by a friend. Under the clean grease the cheap Chinese bearing are rusting so new bearing etc. purchased. Then to find out new SKF seals won't properly fit the hubs so off to buy new hubs to find out that the hubs that last years shop used were for oil bath bearing hubs which I don't have or plan on buying...... What a piss off. $370 later axel is back where I wanted with the parts that I wanted and paid for last year. I am sorry to all that have taken my recommendation and taken there trailers to this shop. I am furious and there's not much more I can do but be happy nothing happened and all is fixed.

    $870 later :mad:
  2. Phil my boat

    Phil my boat Active Member

    Good point there FA.

    Check your wheel bearings before you tow. I seen one guy on the side of the road today that had to change wheel bearings. He managed to get off the road just before the wheel came off.

    Better to do that at home or have a shop do it for you than get stranded on the way to the boat launch.
  3. gungadin

    gungadin Well-Known Member

    Perhaps your receipt might show part numbers? You might have some recourse then.
  4. SpringVelocity

    SpringVelocity Well-Known Member

    Sounds like my trailer experience with a company in lady smith with my broken axle. At least they put good bearings in that. The place I went to repacked my old rusty bearings with old seals and put them in with new axle a got. They even charged me for the new bearings/races/seals. Then put on bearing buddies and didn't put them in right and came off on 1st launch in. When I took it all apart that day to repack them I discovered they use the same bearings I had all rusted...

    Was a horrible experience to say the least...I was told I got a deal and to basically go away. I can't obviously say directly but it was in lady-smith I will leave it at that.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2014
  5. CCB

    CCB Active Member

    Greasing and changing bearings should be part of every boat owners skills, its super easy just messy but way way cheaper to do it yourself.Plus if one blows out on the side of the highway within 20 minutes your back on the road.

    One year we had to use butter , margarine to be exact lol lucky it was only a 18 ft boat and we were close to departure bay.

  6. SpringVelocity

    SpringVelocity Well-Known Member

    I do it all the time BTW twice a year . I got this company to do it because it was just easy with axle there and it took them 4 weeks to get axle in. Was in a rush to get fishing on the weekend.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2014
  7. spring fever

    spring fever Well-Known Member

    It is relatively easy to do whether you have oil bath or grease bearings-saves you money but more importantly gets you to have a look at your brakes ,adjusters etc. The other benefit is that once you do it-you know how to do it on the road. I always carry one extra wheel preloaded with bearings at all times. No fun losing an axle on a large boat and have to chain the axle and proceed on 3 wheels. If you feel you can't do it find yourself a competent shop and stick with them.
  8. Island Fish Lifter

    Island Fish Lifter Well-Known Member


    however, if you are not competent doing a simple job like this, stay off the roads,
  9. JAC

    JAC Well-Known Member

    I do mine twice a year with blue synthetic grease. That being said I just took one out at highway speed 3 weeks ago. I had to tie that one axle to the frame so it wouldn't drag and limp on 3 tires what a show!!
  10. Bows Up

    Bows Up Well-Known Member

    Ouch FA, that has to hurt, especially since you tried to do it right and got screwed. That nothing happened is the only silver lining.

    Twenty minutes to get back on the road, I am impressed CCB. Doubt I'll ever achieve pit crew status. lol Having only done my utility trailer and boat trailer once each, it is a new skill for me. For any other newbs at bearings and races it was truly easy. Hearing the horror stories it is a worthwhile skill to learn as it seems you don't get what you pay for and you will save a whack of cash.

    I have the mechanical aptitude of a Lab, if I can do it anyone can.
  11. gungadin

    gungadin Well-Known Member

    Many people are not able to do a "simple" job like that because of time constraints, lack of tools, space, and yes, ability. Others just do not like getting their hands dirty or simply do not want to do such work.. For people like this, having a competent shop do their maintainence work is a necessity. Using others to do the simple work on trailers, boats, automobiles, lawnmowers, outboards etc. in no way should reflect on their use of them.
  12. GDW

    GDW Well-Known Member

    What tools do I need to service/replace/repack bearings?

    I've never done it buts its time. I'll start with a YouTube search but what will I need?

    A good jack, blocks, new bearings (from where? Crappy tire or do I need better), grease... What else?
  13. Fish Assassin

    Fish Assassin Crew Member

    New seals, often a 1 1/4 inch socket, jack, block or jack stands, a hammer, quality grease,grease gun, emery cloth, pliers and a brain. That's about it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2014
  14. Dave S

    Dave S Active Member

    You will need a pair of needle nose pliers or side cutters to remove cotter pin. adjustable wrench to remove axle nut. hammer and blunt nose punches to remove old bearing race from hub and axle. large socket and or bearing press. (can use old bearing race to assist in install of new race. lots of good marine grade grease and lots of rags.
  15. casper5280

    casper5280 Well-Known Member

    Get speedy S/S sleeve's to go over the axle before putting on the new "double lip" seals, not single "lip seals". The speedy sleeve will really save the new seals from wearing out. Buy good quality bearings and races, not made in China crap. Also good marine grade grease. New S/S cotter pins. I only ever use a pair of side cutters to pull the cotter pin out and a large pair of pliers to undo and redo the castle nut. Make sure you do not over tighten the castle nut when you are putting it all back together. As Dave S says a hammer and blunt nose punches to remove old bearing and races from hub. I use a large socket to reinstall the bearings. Thats about it. Lots of YouTube videos to show you how. Lots and lots of rags and paper towels.
  16. daddystoy

    daddystoy Well-Known Member

    Did the annual bearing re-pack with my son a couple of weeks ago and lo and be-hold the left side was nasty. The grease was very pinkish instead of being the bright red it should have been indicating water getting into the bearing grease. Took a picture of the outer bearing on the left side. Notice the scoring. The inner left bearing was showing wear as well. Put new bearings (and races of course) on inner and outer, tested the surge brakes and confident that all should be well for the season.

    Attached Files:

  17. bigdogeh

    bigdogeh Well-Known Member

    looks like you caught it just in time. I had a couple like that last year when I changed out the brgs, brakes, etc on my triple axle trailer. nice to catch it before a failure rather than risk ruining a spindle or losing a tire in oncoming traffic..
  18. daddystoy

    daddystoy Well-Known Member

    I new I was going to be doing this regularly so I bought what I needed.

    A bearing race and seal driver kit (Lordco or equivalent)

    A slide hammer puller ( for pulling out the races) These two tools will make your life sooooo much easier than trying to muck around with "make do tools"

    I also have a solvent tank which makes cleaning the bearings easy

    Grease gun of course


    Bearing packer if you want.

    Lots of rags or paper towels

    Crescent wrench, pliers, hammer to knock the bearing buddys out and put back on

    I use a 1& 1/2" wooden dowel to drive out the inner seal

    Plus a few other things the other guys mentioned.

    Just another good skill to learn so you don't freak out if something happens on the road.

    I carry all this stuff when I travel, just in case. And I have needed it.
  19. Bows Up

    Bows Up Well-Known Member

    You tube videos worked for me. As usual watch several and do a mental cut and paste. NAPA had the best SKF bearing kit prices. Forget the cute little pack of grease the kit comes with and buy a tub of marine grease. The bearing you pull will have numbers on it, though if it is beat you may need a whack of cleaner and a magnifying glass to read it. The numbers are the same Chinese or good stuff.

    Wear gloves or you won't be getting any for awhile.

    Enjoy GDW.
  20. scott craven

    scott craven Well-Known Member

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